Kukes Airport will is an airport for low-cost flights and the first destinations will be Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
This is according to the information given by Minister of Infrastructure Belinda Balluku on Facebook.
The first flight will take place on 18 April from the UK to Albania. Fights between the two destinations are currently suspended and it’s illegal for people to travel from the UK, abroad for holidays. Those that do travel are required to quarantine for two weeks else face stiff financial penalties.
The minister said that employees of the airport will be from the local area (Kukes) with the exception of technical staff. She said that on 20 April, the government will sign the contract for the construction of the Vlora Airport.
The Vlora Airport plans have resulted in criticism from environmental groups who state that it would cause “irreversible damage to the ecosystem of the Vjosa-Narte Protected Landscape.”
The International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the region as a Category V protected landscape. This means it has a distinct and valuable character in terms of its ecological, biological, cultural, aesthetic, and other features. It is also in the Albanian Protected Area Network, is an Important Bird Area, and a Key Biodiversity Area. It almost meets the criteria to be classified as a Wetland of International Importance. It has even been nominated by the government as a candidate site for the Emerald Network under the Bern Convention.